July 24 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net
With just over a week left till the 60th anniversary of the Tevis Cup on August 1, a glance at the current entry list numbering 205 shows an competitive, diverse list of entries.
Nine previous Tevis Cup winners - five riders and four horses - will contest this year's event. Potato Richardson ('98, 02), Heather Reynolds (2003, '14), Jeremy Reynolds ('04, '07, '11), John Crandell ('06, '10), and Garrett Ford (2012), are the winning riders; and SMR Fifi d'Or ('05), Heraldic (06, '10), The Fury ('12), and French Open ('14) are the winning horses.
Eleven previous Haggin Cup winners - 7 riders and 4 horses - will return. Heather Reynolds ('99, '03), Michele Roush ('05), John Crandell ('06, '07), Jeremy Reynolds ('04, '11), Melissa Ribley ('09), Garrett Ford ('10), and Junior Barrak Blakeley ('14) are the riders; Heraldic ('06), The Fury ('10), Farrabba ('12), and MCM Last Dance, ('14). are the horses.
John Crandell calls his horse Heraldic, 17, "a freak of nature". He has overcome serious injury in his career to return to phenomenal winning success. After winning the "Triple Crown" of U.S. endurance in 2006 - the Old Dominion 100, Tevis, and the AERC National Championship 100 - he seriously injured his stifle and was off for two years. He came back in 2010 to win the "Triple Crown" yet again. After another setback and over three years off, the gelding came back again, winning this year's Old Dominion 100 again last month under Marcia Hefker-Miles. Marcia will be aboard him again in Tevis. Crandell will ride LR Bold Cody, who was second to Heraldic, and got Best Condition, in the Old Dominion.
Another major comeback horse is Chris Martin's Monk. In the process of qualifying for the 2012 WEC in England, Monk set the North American record for the fastest time in the 100 mile distance, 6:53, in the Patriot's Day ride at Lake Almanor in July of 2011. At the Texas Trials in the spring of 2012, the now-13-year-old gelding tore a left front suspensory. Following treatment with PRP and stem cells, and a long rehab, Monk returned to the endurance trails after 3 years. With his regular rider Lindsay Graham, he finished a 35-miler and a 50 in March of this year, and with Linday's mother Susan, he finished another 25-mile ride. He's held up to strenuous training, and he's fit and ready to take on the Tevis course, a trail that's been on Team Monk's bucket list for a long time.
Nine Rushcreek horses are set to contest the trail - Rushcreek: Hugh (age 21), Karl (19), Nerf (16), Nel (16), Oats (15), Rambler (12), Seth (11), Tootsie (10), and Brave (8).
There are a number of 'oldies but goodies' in this year's ride. The oldest horse is PL Mercury, at 24, ridden by Lisa Downs. The Arabian gelding finished Tevis in '09 and '10. Whin Dance, 22, ridden by Carl Kimbler, finished Tevis in '06. Rushcreek Hugh, 20, ridden by Kelly Blue, finished Tevis in '04. 20-year-old Chipov Karahty, ridden by Sonja Willitts, attempted Tevis in 2011, but was pulled lame. There are 6 19-year-olds and 3 18-year-olds on the starting list.
Three Tevis super-veteran riders return to the trail. Pat Chappell, with 20 Tevis buckles, is riding Razz Couger Sheen (they finished Tevis together in '07). Kathy Perry, with 22 buckles, is riding Presario S. Barbara White, with a record 33 buckles, is riding Djubilee (they finished together in '13 and '14).
You'll see three Hall of Famers (Kathie Perry, Robert Ribley - Pard'ners Award, and Suzy Hayes - Pard'ners Award), three National Champion horses (Monk, Farrabba, Heraldic), five National Champion riders (Lindsay Graham, John Crandell, Heather Reynolds, Christoph Schork, and Robert Ribley), and several National Mileage Champions (Laurie Birch and Scudd Run, Karen Chaton, and Juniors Anya and Katya Levermann, and Claire Taylor).
You'll see some Tevis first-timers, and you'll see some interesting breeds. Besides the ubiquitous Arabians, you'll see some mustangs, a couple of Tennessee Walking Horses and Akhal Tekes, a Standardbred, a Kentucky Mountain horse, a Spotted Saddle horse, and a mule.
You can see the current entries here.
Teviscup.org will soon have a page where you can follow your rider through the ride.
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